I can’t remember the last time I saw an engaging movie with an original plot. Kubo and the Two Strings does both. It has well formed characters and beautiful animation/claymation/puppettering that entertains watchers of all ages.
However the bad guys, or gals really, are probably a little scary for kids under 8. Even I was creeped out by them, and I’m…several years older! I guess that means the writers did a great job.
I love the idea of story tellers having magic, and memories being the most powerful magic of all. While trying to sleep last night I had a revelation: stories are only powerful because we can pull from our memories and relate to the characters in the story! Maybe it’s a memory of great loss, stubbing your pinky toe on a table, or remembering an admirable trait you want to be like…Stories are powerful because of memories. And Kubo is a great storyteller because of his painful, powerful memories.
Monkey was my favorite character, and not just because she’s voiced by Charlize Theron. Her serious attitude is loving and kind, and she jokes around enough to make audiences fall in love with her softer side. And all the twists and connections throughout the film kept me wanting more. As I’m writing this I’m actually a little sad that the movie ended.
I admit, I got a little pulled out of the film towards the end, but I don’t think that was the movie’s fault. I may have guzzled an entire LARGE bottle of water, and the volume compared to the surface area of my bladder was not adding up comfortably…
If you see this movie, and I really hope you do, be sure to stay through the mid-credits. You’ll see a brief clip of how they filmed one of the scenes, and you’ll leave with an even greater appreciation for the techniques used to bring this film to life.
Report Card: Kubo and the Two Strings
Overall Score: A
!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!
If you don’t like spoilers then pause, walk away from the screen, go watch the film, and come back here and tell me all about it.
(as soon as I figure out how to turn on commenting…)
If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read past this line!!!
Did ya see the movie?!
Let’s talk about the ending. I mean, it was pretty good, however…I think the writers could have doubled the impact of Kubo’s character, and made his relationship to his grandfather even sweeter. Here me out. If Kubo had kept both of his eyes for the film, with his grandfather still desperately trying to take them away, then at the end when Kubo and ‘pappy’ duel in the ultimate battle, Kubo actually gives one of his eyes to his grandfather so he can see the beauty of Love and humanity and fireflies and all that.
What do you think?
(Sorry! I’m trying to add commenting. For now I guess, we could just pretend like we are having a conversation. I’ll talk to my computer over here, and you talk to your computer over there, and then we can talk to each other when we end up in the mad house together. Yay!)